Paul took care of Dorothy’s laundry duties today- I was at work and couldn’t make it. When he got to “the home” mom was engaged in doing something with other people. Yay! He snuck to her apartment the back way- so she wouldn’t see him- gathered the dirty laundry. He stripped the bed and headed to his house to start a load of wash. He’s only 10 minutes away- so it was a 30-minute turn around. When he returned she was still engaged- which is reassuring that she is engaged. They stopped at Wal Mart then went back to his house continue with the wash.
They went to 5 Guys for lunch- one of her favorites-she loves their milkshakes. Then back to his house to fold finish the laundry. It was a sunny blue-sky day- perfect for taking a walk, so they did. Paul took mom over to see her place and the progress that is being made. She got to visit with an old neighbor too. So, it was a very eventful day. They were probably together 2 ½ hours. Paul told me she only asked about coming home once- which was shocking to him- usually it’s one of her songs where she gets stuck in the groove. And she did not put up any resistance when it was time for her to go back to her place.
Note: I was on my laptop again this evening (as I was the other blog I posted about her talking) when she called so I was able to type her words as she said them. There is no way I could recreate her entire monolog.
Tonight, she calls me @ 6:15 and I’m surprised by her demeanor-she is bright and cherry- she had a new song. She’s not distressed or fussy – she sounds quite upbeat- like here old self before her dementia days.
Moms starts the conversation with – Cheryl are you still coming and taking me to do my laundry? I don’t remember you being here- but the laundry is clean. I can’t find any dirty laundry anywhere.
I tell her that Paul came to day and took care of all that and also took her to lunch. She doesn’t change her tone of voice or even get upset.
She answers in the same bright and cherry voice:
I don’t remember uncle Paul being here. That’s kind of scary for me. I don’t remember Paul being her at all today. I told her that they went to Five Guys for lunch- thinking she might remember the milkshake.
I don’t remember that either- I’m going to have to sit down and think about this. This is so scary for me. Isn’t that scary? Don’t you find that scary? Usually he signs in when he comes- but well, you know if you said he was here he was here. But—- I don’t remember. I guess I just live literally in the moment. Of course, I don’t have to work anymore- so I don’t have to remember anything. I do not remember at this moment I do not remember Paul being here anytime today. And that to me is very scary. I think you need to check with the doctor to see if there is something that will help my memory because I mean that actually frightens me Cheryl, I mean – it does, I mean I don’t’ remember putting any clothes away or anything. I don’t remember making the bed – or anything.
Well, what I remember is going down to dinner – I ask her “what did you have for dinner”. I don’t know what I had. I don’t pay any attention to what I had- I just eat and get out because everybody just bitches. I just don’t remember what I ate or what I did all day. Maybe that’s my problem I don’t’ pay any attention. I just can’t get that in my head that Paul was here, and we went to do laundry and I don’t remember anything about t it. That makes me very nervous. I hope I’m in a safe place. Well ok if you say so. I’m not going to cry – no need to cry- that is not going to help it. I just don’t know.
I’ll talk to you later – maybe tomorrow or something.
She hung up with me only saying a few words. I was hopeful that it was going to be a silent night.
Fifteen minutes later she calls again: not taking a breath or me saying anything below is her transcript:
Hi Chery – guess what? Paul was here today. But you know what Cheryl – me being here is making me worse. Because I don’t have anything to do and I don’t’ have anything to have to remember you just live in la land.
You just do what they tell you when they want you to do it. I’m not walking because it’s been too cold to walk, and I don’t want to get a cold and get sick. I don’t want to get cold. I don’t think I may have talked to you about this when I woke up and found out where I was, this is not a good place to be when you’re my age. Everybody does everything for you or does it for you…you don’t have anything to do so you don’t think as much. I do clean my own apartment and make my own bed and keep it clean there is nothing to do here. All you do is eat and go back to your room, there is no communication in this place. You lose your ability to communicate some people say being here that helps you – but it really doesn’t help that much. And that is one of the things I was thought about last week – unless you have a condition that you forget you don’t need to be here. I don’t think the time before Paul put me here- this is the second time he’s put me in this place I talked to him the time before I didn’t talk to him…. this time —I had that fall or something, not quite sure what happened I don’t’ think this is the place for me to be now I sit here and do nothing. Yes, I read but I’m not getting any stimulation. So, I just feel that I would —–I’m either in the wrong place or I need to go back to my own house where I can still take care of myself. They don’t have any kind of interaction with the residence they don’t’ get them together I haven’t’ seen anything where they have morning visits. They eat and go back to their room I still have done my walking and I don’t think this is the place I need to be…I’m sure that I need to be home where I can occupy my mind and continue to be active instead of just sitting. And I been thinking I was a little upset to tell him he needs to come gets me and take me home, but I knew that wouldn’t work the more I’m here the more I see it’s not helping me it’s making me worse because there is no interaction here. I do go out and look for something to do. I talk to the people and they just took at you I think it would be interesting If you came and you walked around yourself like you were a new person…see what kind of reaction you get. I haven’t complained about where I am I don’t mind being somewhere where it’s helping me. I just don’t see that happening here. There hasn’t’ been one staff member come to see me and see how I am and if I need anything. I don’t know how long I’ve been here. But, I think I’d know if someone had been to my door to check on me. I haven’t been pleased in a few weeks. It’s not I think it’s making me worse instead of making me better. I see a difference in myself. So, but, unfortunate Paul thinks he knows everything. I know he just wants the best for this me, but he doesn’t he want to listen to what I’ve got to say, I know more than he does, I worked in it for years. I don’t’ feel I’m gaining anything I’m losing every day. So, that’s about all I can say.
I don’t have any power anymore so there is nothing I can do. maybe you can figure out something, maybe you could come and spend the day. Might be different if you came, they might be just honey bunch you up. But, your smart enough to know when somebody is doing that to you. I think you’ve been around enough of them ass kissers– oh your daughter is here today, everything is going to be wonderful. The place is clean. Nobody bothers me- I thought they were supposed to bother me. I’m the new person I need to know what is going on and what time. They might have to come get me every day until she remembers that’s what we did at my job I have to keep that in mind. I guess I’ve accepted being here if that is what you children want. But I’m not satisfied with the place, it’s not helping me I don’t see any encouragement to find out what my problem is and what they think they can do to help. I realize I have a memory problem, I don’t think a staff member as been here to evaluate me. I don’t’ know what kind of evaluation they did maybe it’s all me and I don’t’ remember, but I do know no one has been to my apartment to see me. I don’t’ see them doing anything that would help me with my memory, maybe there is nothing they can do. Maybe it’s not as bad as they think it is I go to breakfast lumch and dinner, I don’t forget. They know I keep my apartment clean myself, I just don’t think I’m getting what we are paying for. You may not can get it anywhere for memory care- call Jan and ask her what they do for people with memory loss. What kind of stimulation they use on therm. I think I was doing just as well at a home because I had chores. I think I’ve gotten worse b/c I m confined. No one here will be my friend.
They are tv addicts. I’m not I’m not a big tv watcher, maybe I need to .my money is being wasted here, but I’m here and you and Paul are making the decision so talk about it and see what you want to do. That’s how I feel, and I don’t have anything else to say.
How are you – how are the boys anything exciting in the neighborhood?
I tell her about my week and update her on the boys- I keep it short and sweet.
I don’t know anything else, come and see me when you have an opportunity. Or better than that take me home, I need a facility that restores you not stores you.
That’s all I got to say, love you, bye
Ten minutes later
Hey Cheryl, how long have I been here – and day is what?
Me: Since May 5, 2018- last year- today is February 2,2019
Humm mm ok I would like for Dr. Jayne to evaluate me again. She’s your doctor- right? So, when can you get an appointment I would like her to see if my condition is still the same or if it’s different. After you do that I will tell why- I want to know. Whenever you have time- it’s no big rush I’d like to have an evaluation within the next month. To see if there is a difference then from now. I think she would be very honest. If you can set that up, I’d appreciate it.
I love you Cheryl
She did not call back tonight.
Peace & Love,
One thought on “Dorothy’s Dementia”
Not remembering has to be as terrifying for her as it is to you all. God bless her. It’s so good that you can listen